Have you been thinking of what to do with old shipping containers? You’ll find out in this article. We have a comprehensive list of uses of shipping containers and we shall be taking a look at some of them.

Depending on their dimensions, you can reuse shipping containers to serve different purposes. In this article, you will read a brief description of 25 shipping container innovations. 

25 Uses for Old Shipping Containers 


1. School Building

It costs a lot of money to build schools; therefore, third-world countries and other poor places use shipping containers as classrooms. All that is needed is a little reconstruction and modification to serve this purpose. 

2. Shops/Kiosks/Stores

Another of the numerous uses of shipping containers is shops or kiosks. If you have an idle container, you may consider using it to generate income because containers can be converted into a place for selling some products. 

3. Homes

This is one of the best ways to repurpose old shipping containers. They are an affordable and eco-friendly housing option for anyone. We discussed some different shipping container homes and their cost in our previous article. You can read up our article on shipping container homes for more insight.

uses for shipping containers

4. Bridge

Modified shipping containers can be used to build bridges. In Israel, there is a shipping container bridge that leads to the Ariel Sharon National Park. It’s a fantastic way to create a means of travel for people while recycling old materials. 

5. Furniture

One of the uses for shipping containers is to make them into furniture for school or homeowners. Containers can be made into tables, chairs, or desks. 

6. Good and portable toilet

You can repurpose old shipping containers into toilets for construction sites. This can be seen in many countries. The portability of these shipping containers has made it easy for them to be used from one project to another. 

uses for old shipping containers

7. Movie Theater

Although shipping containers provide a temporary solution as a movie theater, it offers lots of recreational value quickly. 

8. A food truck

Shipping containers have made it possible for you to have your food truck in one location. You no longer have to travel from one place to another. The shipping container can be modified so that the roof and sides can “pop out” to show your food business. 

9. Dorms & Student Housing 

Shipping container innovation also includes the construction of student housing in many countries. Some colleges also stack these containers and use them as dormitories. 

uses for old shipping containers

10. Barn

If you are looking for what to do with old shipping containers, using them as barns is a great option. These shipping containers are a natural choice for barns because of their many properties. They are fire-resistant. They are also watertight and wind-tight. If you reside in places with “water and wind” harsh weather conditions, you need to have a shipping container. 

11. Playhouse 

You can repurpose old shipping containers into a playhouse. Depending on your choice, you can make it large or small or configure it any way you choose. You can add games and TV, and the playhouse will be a perfect place for sleepovers with friends. 

12. Office or workshop

If you have limited space in your home, containers make great cubicles and workshops. You only need to make a few adjustments, like adding windows and doors, and you will have a private office space. 

use for old shipping container

13. Playground for kids

This is another of the good uses of shipping containers. These shipping containers are designed to be stacked. Therefore, you can make some adjustments by adding some pipes and slides to create a beautiful playground for the kids. 

14. Garden

If you have plants and other crops that deer and other critter eat, you might want to consider a shipping container garden. You will automatically eliminate the problem of these animals once you start using shipping containers. Put windows on all sides of the shipping container for sunlight to get in and ensure optimal plant growth. You can easily maintain this type of garden, and the extra protection ensures your time and hard work is not in vain. 

15. Pool

You can create your pool by placing a shipping container underground. With minor adjustments, you can have something to keep you cool during the hot periods. Shipping containers have different sizes, ranging from 10 to 53 feet container. You can add as many containers as you want to create the pool size of your choice. 

use for shipping container

16. Hotels

In several parts of the world, you can see hotels that are built with cargo containers. These modified shipping container hotels are either transportable or constructed permanently in one location.  

17. Emergency hospitals 

It may be like an ambulance, but with more equipment and personnel. The shipping container-hospital can be in the form of movable homes and can always be moved to high demand places. 

18. Studios

Another one of the uses for shipping containers is in the construction of studio workshops. The studio can be customized to reflect the persona and uniqueness of the professional using it.

use for old shipping container

19. Art Gallery

Repurposing old shipping containers into beautiful art galleries are increasing across the world. These art galleries are refurbished to highlight the creativity within them.

20. Sauna 

You can use a shipping container to create your relaxation haven. With a container-modified-sauna, there can’t be a better way to relax and enjoy yourself. 

21. Disaster shelters

People displaced from their homes due to natural disasters can find shelter in modified shipping containers. Cargo containers are perfect temporary shelter houses. They are great options even in areas with extreme weather conditions.

uses for old shipping containers

22. Cafes

Another one of the different uses of shipping containers is the construction of café bars. It helps to provide the needed caffeine sustenance to all coffer-lovers. 

23. Vacation homes 

Though inexpensive, it is elegant and beautiful when you see repurposed old shipping container vacation homes. It is always designed in the concept of beaches, residences, and vacation homes. 

24. Camper

Another important use of shipping containers is the construction of structures for camping crowds across the world. 

use for old shipping container

25. Malls

The building of malls with cargo containers is yet another trend that has been gaining momentum. So, if you are looking for what to with old shipping containers, you may need to consider building a mall. 


The list of uses for shipping containers seems unending, but we have given you 25 of them. An old cargo shipping container is such a versatile product that you can forge into virtually anything you can imagine. If you have any use case you believe should be on our list, kindly share it in the comment section. 


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